A Shut Down Government Costs Taxpayers More Than an Open One

❝ Sending workers home, not collecting fees and not paying bills on time all come with a cost, which escalates every day President Trump and Congress fail to reach a deal to reopen federal agencies.

❝ A federal government shutdown might seem like a great way to save money: When agencies aren’t open, they aren’t spending tax dollars. But history shows us that closing the government actually costs more than keeping it open.

Shuttered parks can’t collect entrance fees. Furloughed workers will ultimately get paid for not showing up to work. And the government will wind up having to pay interest on missed payments to some contractors.

And it goes on from there. RTFA. Please ignore the lies, distractions and other con games flowing from the Oval Office like urine from a drunken baboon.

This is our reality — with Trump in the White House

❝ In just two years, President Trump has unleashed a regulatory rollback, lobbied for and cheered on by industry, with little parallel in the past half-century. Mr. Trump enthusiastically promotes the changes as creating jobs, freeing business from the shackles of government and helping the economy grow…

❝ The trade-offs, while often out of public view, are real — frighteningly so, for some people — imperiling progress in cleaning up the air we breathe and the water we drink, and in some cases upending the very relationship with the environment around us…

❝ …Trump is already on track to leave an indelible mark on the American landscape, even with a decline in some major pollutants from the ever-shrinking coal industry. While Washington has been consumed by scandals surrounding the president’s top officials on environmental policy — both the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency and the Interior secretary have been driven from his cabinet — Mr. Trump’s vision is taking root in places as diverse as rural California, urban Texas, West Virginian coal country and North Dakota’s energy corridor.

Trump’s indelible mark is one leading to sickness and decline. The first centered on the mass of Americans employed in almost every industry. The second the predictable result of supply-side economics – a failure in every aspect of economic history excepting only the minds of a small number of perpetually greedy economists and politicians.

CarMD says these are the most reliable auto brands


Most reliable individual model = Audi Q5 SUV

1. Toyota
2. Acura
3. Hyundai
4. Honda
5. Mitsubishi
6. Subaru
7. Buick
8. Mercedes
9. Lexus
10. Nissan

NOTE Between Oct. 1, 2017 and Sept. 20, 2018, CarMD said it measured and analyzed vehicle data and health of about 5.6 million in-use vehicles manufactured from 1996 to 2018 reporting check engine health.

Lots of different ways to approach these questions and the article does a decent job, ranging from repair and maintenance costs to repair frequency, etc.. RTFA.

Alan Greenspan says “prepare for the worst”!

Alan Greenspan says the party’s over on Wall Street.

The former Federal Reserve chairman who famously warned more than two decades ago about “irrational exuberance” in the stock market doesn’t see equity prices going any higher than they are now…

❝ The former chairman also warned that the United States may be poised for a period of stagflation, “a toxic mix” when the economy suffers from high inflation and high unemployment. The last time the country experienced such an episode was in the 1970s and early 1980s.

“How long it lasts or how big it gets, it’s too soon to tell,” said Greenspan. “We’ll know it when we get on top of it.”

Hardly any economist of note expects the US to escape from the Trump swamp without a recession. How big and exactly when covers the range of every guess you might conjure up. Surely ain’t getting past Election Day 2020.

BTW, Greenspan will be a guest on Bloomberg’s coverage of the FOMC meeting, tomorrow, the 19th. I doubt Tom Keene will miss the chance to ask tough questions.

Massachusetts offshore wind auction draws global competitors, big money


David L. Ryan/GLOBE Staff/File

❝ The blockbuster auction for offshore wind leases that wrapped up Friday should leave few doubts: The industry has finally arrived in New England.

Three developers backed by major European energy companies paid a record $405 million to gain access to 390,000 acres of federal waters nearly 20 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. These firms will each pay $135 million to the federal government for the rights to build massive windmills in their respective slices of the ocean…

❝ The victors: Equinor, a Norwegian company formerly known as Statoil until this past spring; Mayflower Wind, a joint venture owned by Shell and EDP Renewables; and Vineyard Wind, a venture controlled by Spain’s Iberdrola and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners.

RTFA. Maybe someone will read it to the fake president.

The trouble with Gribbles

The tiny gribble — less than an inch long — lives in coastal marine environments and feasts upon wood. It gobbles up sticks and logs that wash into the sea from river estuaries, performing an important ecological function. But it also can be a damaging nuisance, eating the wood from boats and piers, causing considerable damage.

Unlike other wood-eating creatures, such as termites, that require thousands of microbes for digestion, the gribble’s gut needs no such help. Its digestive system is sterile, meaning it’s free of the complex microbial communities that inhabit other intestines, including ours.

Scientists say that understanding how the gribble breaks down wood could help them develop better methods for turning timber into fuel. Currently, wood that is burned to generate energy must first be broken down in costly and energy-intensive processes. Gribbles may hold the key to a cheaper and energy-efficient means of unlocking the energy in wood.

For that reason, Simon McQueen-Mason and his research team have been trying to figure out how the gribble breaks through lignin, the tough coating surrounding the sugar polymers that compose wood — long a mystery.

RTFA. Not too complex and although the process might seem to be uneconomic, once folks can lay out the requisite steps – including what can be substituted from the human-made catalogue – doors can be opened to a number of environmental solutions.